Published: 27th February 2021
E-Canteen Fundas: Greater ambition, good. Greater greed, not at all!
Be ambitious with your plans. Seek the highest potential in whatever you pursue. When you face challenges, don’t take short cuts or harm others. Look for creative solutions that help everyone
Bhaiyya,’ said Rahul. ‘Venkat’s super ambitious. He wants to be the richest man in India, richer than his richy rich father.’
‘I don’t understand,’ said Rinku. ‘Shouldn’t we be happy with what we have? Why this greed for more?’
‘What’s wrong with Venkat wanting more?’ asked Rakesh. ‘Being happy with what we have is good. But if he can use his intelligence to create greater value for the greater good, why not?’
‘But won’t we become greedy if we think like that?’ asked Rinku.
‘You’re confusing ambition with greed,’ said Rakesh. ‘Ambition is a desire to achieve something great and beyond yourself. Greed is a selfish desire to want whatever’s available only for yourself, at others’ cost. One is creative, the other destructive.’
‘How, bhaiyya?’ asked Rahul.
‘See, Venkat can achieve his ambition of being rich by building a product or a company that benefits millions, creating abundant wealth for himself and others in the process,’ said Rakesh. ‘By creating value, he changes the status quo, raises standards and inspires others. Or he can be greedy, fill his coffers at others’ expense, lower standards, create scarcity and harm others.’
‘Isn’t it a thin line, bhaiyya?’ said Rahul. ‘Don’t ambitious people become greedy, selfish and take shortcuts? Venkat doesn’t have time for us anymore. He’s become selfish.’
‘To create anything of great value, one needs to focus considerable energies on it,’ said Rakesh. ‘An ambitious person sets clear priorities and focuses on them. It’s about focusing on what’s important to him. However, if an ambitious person loses sight of his basic principles, he becomes greedy. He takes lazy shortcuts and harms others. That’s when he needs to ground himself and find ethical ways to fulfill his ambitions. Bottom line, ambition channelled correctly grows, while greed stunts and regresses.’
‘Can we be ambitious and content too?’ asked Rinku.
‘Of course,’ smiled Rakesh. ‘Be content with all you have. At the same time, be ambitious and aim to be the best in whatever you are pursuing and grow yourself first, then others. Be grateful for your bike, house and relationships and maintain them well. But also aspire to improve on them. Have ambitious plans to acquire a car, a better house and more meaningful relationships, where everyone grows.’
‘Thanks, bhaiyya,’ said Rahul. ‘I’m for ambition. Not greed.’